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You dont use a split?!Good God!

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ice_mach
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2006/07/08 11:52:35 (permalink)

You dont use a split?!Good God!

Often on MT the topic of how often one should train comes up. At the moment I feel there is a rift in people, of some who think the only way of training is pull/push/legs. Let me say that this is wrong. Like anything in the world, there are more than one way of skinning a cat, and finding out what works for you is what should be strived for.

Obviously this doesnt mean, changing routines every 4 weeks because you aren't getting results. Consistency is something which is key here, and will take you far, there are many tried and tested routines, its best to stick to a routine for at least 8-12 weeks to give it a fair analysis.

With training there are 3 things to take into consideration training, volume, intensity. This means if one of those aspects take predominance in your routine the others have to be reduced to compensate so for example someone who uses a full body 3 times per week can neither train with the volume of a traditional bodybuilding split nor the intensity of something such as HIT.

Frequency

So lets say you have a traditional bodybuilding split which gives each muscle group more than 5 days worth of rest, you can do two things here, you can have a moderate amount of volume and high intensity or you can have somewhat light intensity with a high volume. However say you decide to train your muscles frequently 2-10 times per week,your weekly volume that you used should be split over the sessions and the intensity dependant on how often you're training. This is a common mistake with some people I believe, many think that if you want to train muscles frequently you can simply perform the same amount of work twice in a week with the same intensity. This is a recipe for serious overtraining.

The best example of how training should be split up over a week if you choose to use high frequency training, is olympic lifters. Olympic lifters train anywhere from 5-12 times per week. "5-12 times!?!" I hear you scream, "surely they will be overtrained!". Well no its not quite as simple, olympic lifters will have anything from 5-20 reps on 2-4 exercises.

Volume

Regardless of which method you choose, your weekly training volume should remain the same so say you do a total of 120 reps per muscle group, you can do 120 reps in one session, 60 reps in two sessions, 40 reps in three sessions, 30 reps in 4 sessions, etc.

Intensity

There are two trains of thought when it comes to intensity.

1)The quantifiable- percentage of a 1RM ie 85% of 1RM done for 5x5
2)The qualitative- done by feel, this term is commonly used by those too entrenched in HIT philosophies, ie work with a submaximal load until something pops out of your ass

Both have pro's and con's, except with the second method (IMO) it is hard to quantifiably assess the fatigue you will incur from your training, whereas the first method can give a sketchy idea as to the fatigue you might incur. However saying that for different people something such as 85% of your 1RM may be extremely easy or extremely hard.

Different Goals- Strength or Hypertrophy

This is going to be quite a simple explanation, but it will have to suffice within the context of this post. According to some literature, those who are focused with strength they should be training as often as possible, with a low volume at each session in order to improve intermusclar and intramuscular co-ordination, and to imprint the motor movements needed for the lifts required. Hence the frequent sessions which many powerlifters and olympic lifters employ. With hypertrophy you dont need as such as many frequent sessions as its all about protein degradation and glyocen expenditure, however this doesnt mean that more frequency isnt a good thing, quite the opposite for some, many react better to more frequent exposures, Samcim and Murphyblew off this site are two prime examples. Another useful thing to do is using a conjugate system where you can train both for strength and hypetrophy at the same time!

Some things to consider

* How often, how much, how intense will depend on the persons level of experience. According to Coach Mark McLaughlin of PCT, Oregon, we should all be striving to increase our work capacity gradually. This means that jumping into the deep end of something such as training 10 times per week, or training too intense, or too much volume without sufficiently getting your body accustomed to it is a big no no.

* How stressful is your life? This is something which has to be really considered but never is given much thought, your gains off any program will be very much affected by how many stressors you have in your life.

* Training reps can influence the way the fatigue you incur, ie lifting exposively with 10x3 a la westside method with 50% of your 1RM induces less fatigue than 5x5 with 80-90% of your 1RM.

* Dont try and make your own routines, there are many tried and tested routines, follow them to the T. Tried and tested routines work, and then secondly are well balanced in exercise selection, reps protocols etc

Conclusion

Try each method for a while and see what works best for you, I suppose its good not to be too closed minded in training, rotating each method of frequency, volume and intensity can also be a pretty good way of training,rather than sticking to one, and hence giving benefits which arent so immediately seen. Cycling training between methods such as HIT, GVT, and Waterbury style can give gains not seen before from only training in one way and can make your training fun. Although as said before do not rotate between those too frequently stick to each method for 8-12 weeks or however long the routine prescribes.

Some splits

Volume
German Volume Training- http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/luis13.htm
The Gironda System by Christian Thibadeau- http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1100725

Intensity
HIT- http://members.aol.com/usamuscle/routine14.html
20 rep squats- www.teenbodybuilding.com/callum12.htm

Frequency
Bill Starr's 5x5 mass gain program- http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jfloyd1.htm
Bodybuildings next frontier by Chad Waterbury- http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;jsessionid=EBD45E00139772ECE99833534B35BC2A.hydra?id=905832

Here is something Coach Thibaudeau wrote on the forums over at the nation which I think ties in very well to everything said above and goes even further.


Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I *REALLY* don't like the term difficulty. Difficulty has NOTHING to do with stimulating gains. Juggling 5 knives while standing on a swiss ball is *difficult* but it will not lead to gains.

Stimulating gains is about PROGRESSION. What we want is to make the training sessions progressively more stresful on the body.

Progression is NOT necessarily = to using more weight, although adding weight is a form of progression.

You can increase training stress (progress) several ways...

1. LOADING: using more weight

2. VOLUME via reps: performing more reps with the same load

3. VOLUME via sets: increasing the total workload by increasing the number of sets per exercises

4. VOLUME via exercises: increasing the total workload by using more exercises for a certain muscle group/lift structure

5. DENSITY: by reducing the amount of rest between sets (performing more work per unit of time)

6. ECCENTRIC TUT: by increasing the duration of the eccentric portion of the lifts without using less weight

7. CONCENTRIC FORCE via acceleration: F = mass times acceleration. Method no.1 progress by using more weight (added mass) while this method consist of lifting the same load with more acceleration (thus producing more force)

8. SPECIAL TECHNIQUES: using different, more challenging tecbniques (e.g. cluster sets, extended 5s, drop sets, etc.)

9. EXERCISE: by switching to more challenging exercises (e.g. going from a leg press-based cycle to a squat-based cycle)

10. FOCUS: by working on improving the mind-muscle connection

11. FREQUENCY: by training each muscle group more often

And these are just some ways top progress. So just because you get back to using lower weights doesn't mean that you are taking a few steps back, similarily you don't have to be focused only on adding weight to progress. If you find a way to progress via one of these 11 factors at every workout, you'll improve.

HOWEVER despite all that I've said, do understand that the body cannot adapt in a linear fashion ad vitam aeternam... at some point you will have to take a step back to take a few steps forward. Mow, you can either decide yourself when you take that step back, or wait for your body to force you to take it at which point it might take a while before you can get back to a positive fitness status. That's the point of cycling: varying the training stress in a way that your body is not pushed pass its limit, and yes, that sometimes require taken a step back.

Normally after 12-16 weeks of hard training (one training cycle) you should deload for a week (transition phase) or even 10 days. Then start a new cycle. That new cycle will start from a lower point (stress-wise) than where you ended your last cycle, but higher than where you started it. This is wavelike periodization.
post edited by ice_mach - 2006/07/23 13:12:23
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    MT2006
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/08 12:50:10 (permalink)
    Agreed. I think its best to cycle your routines to continue to give your muscles a different stimuli to adpot to. I and others tend to advise to start off with a push, pull, leg routine on here as it is quite simple and imo a good starting point, but by no means the only routine to follow
    #2
    miki
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    RE: The how often should I train dillema 2006/07/08 15:26:43 (permalink)

    Some great reading there, as usual, Ice_Mach

    This is a great article! Would love to have the time to try this!

    ORIGINAL: ice_mach
    Bodybuildings next frontier by Chad Waterbury- http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;jsessionid=EBD45E00139772ECE99833534B35BC2A.hydra?id=905832
    #3
    oasis
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/08 15:27:49 (permalink)
    Thanks for that Ice..some decent links there.

    It's hard to be humble when I'm so great...

    If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize...Muhammad Ali
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    ice_mach
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/08 15:31:24 (permalink)
    Thanks you two. Miki its a pretty good routine, tried it as an experiment, and basically if you have to do tons of walking like I had to do its a definate no no, DOMS are like crazy in the legs.
    #5
    oasis
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/08 15:41:20 (permalink)
    Gironda was some wild card..I always used to read his columns in various mags..his system of 8x8 as me at the minute also his theory of work done in time aloted..I work at a quickish tempo anyhow so thats got me at the minute.

    It's hard to be humble when I'm so great...

    If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize...Muhammad Ali
    #6
    ice_mach
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/08 15:43:32 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: oasis

    Gironda was some wild card..I always used to read his columns in various mags..his system of 8x8 as me at the minute also his theory of work done in time aloted..I work at a quickish tempo anyhow so thats got me at the minute.


    Yeh I read he would get his clients to the point that they only needed 10 secs between sets. His 15x4 rep scheme is a killer too
    #7
    erk
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/08 15:49:18 (permalink)
    Workout 1

    Squat: alternate 5X5

    Weighted dips: 5X5

    Pull movement (Bent over row, curls, etc.): 5X5

    Weighted leg raises: 5X5

    Neck and grip work


    Workout 2

    Deadlift: 5X5

    Weighted chins: 5X5

    Accessory push movement (bench, standing press,etc): 5X5

    Weighted leg raises: 5X5

    Neck and grip work

    __

    interesting.. I may do this with 3x6 or 3x8/.
    #8
    tokar
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/08 23:49:56 (permalink)
    Good stuff ice, well said.
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    all_over
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/09 16:36:40 (permalink)
    I may try the HIT routine (out of economic necessity, I am 'between jobs' and the money I have I would rather spend on diet) that you link to:
    Monday

    1 x 15 - 20 rep Squat to Failure

    1 x 6 - 10 rep Calf Raise

    1 x 6 - 10 rep Bench Press to Negative failure

    1 x 6 - 10 rep Shoulder Press to Negative failure

    1 x 6 - 10 rep Grip work ( bent arm hang )

    Friday ( soon switched to next week Monday )

    1 x 15 - 20 Deadlift

    1 x 6 - 10 Chin

    1 x 6 - 10 Curls

    1 x 6 - 10 Crunches

    do all of the routines linked carry your seal of approval Ice?
    #10
    ice_mach
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/09 16:58:34 (permalink)
    Have to say all of them yes, but HIT I'm not such a big fan of from personal experience
    #11
    all_over
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/09 17:08:03 (permalink)
    OK, ta. well I have always done well on fairly abbreviated routines so this perhaps will suit me as this is going to take that to its extreme. I will do these workouts once a week and give it the 12 week trial.

    If it works I'll let you know
    #12
    JD
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/09 23:57:12 (permalink)
    Another good informative post bro!
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    sabbath
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/10 00:58:12 (permalink)
    amazing post man! top

    start - 8 stone 7 lbs
    current - 10 stone 1 lb
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    oasis
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/11 00:53:05 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: ice_mach

    ORIGINAL: oasis

    Gironda was some wild card..I always used to read his columns in various mags..his system of 8x8 as me at the minute also his theory of work done in time aloted..I work at a quickish tempo anyhow so thats got me at the minute.


    Yeh I read he would get his clients to the point that they only needed 10 secs between sets. His 15x4 rep scheme is a killer too



    I went along with the 8x8 today doing chest and triceps..works well for what I want ...the only problem I have is counting the sets not the reps lol...you get through'em so fast just resting for 30 seconds..one other thing it'd be nigh on impossible to incorporate squats or deads into this style of training....you simply have to rest longer whilst doing them..I could go lunges and rows for back and legs ..stick with the routine on a 4 week on 4 week off basis resorting back to a more conventionel routine for 4 weeks.

    It's hard to be humble when I'm so great...

    If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize...Muhammad Ali
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    Yib
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/23 05:18:52 (permalink)
    Quite a good thread habibi, nicely laid out


     
    "I don't like misplaced apostrophes"
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    bunnykilla
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    RE: How often should I train? 2006/07/23 12:42:21 (permalink)
    Yes good post, I don't like to see beginners go straight to a split

    Even a simple reason that more frequent training allows them to get used to the lifts quicker is valid for promoting 3xfull body workouts, esp for rank beginners using free weight.

    PPhil
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    Entrophy
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    RE: You dont use a split?!Good God! 2006/07/23 12:42:46 (permalink)
    good post,

    but could some1 explain what this meens again, it just went over my head lol


    ORIGINAL: ice_mach



    Intensity

    There are two trains of thought when it comes to intensity.

    1)The quantifiable- percentage of a 1RM ie 85% of 1RM done for 5x5
    2)The qualitative- done by feel, this term is commonly used by those too entrenched in HIT philosophies, ie work with a submaximal load until something pops out of your ass

    Both have pro's and con's, except with the second method (IMO) it is hard to quantifiably assess the fatigue you will incur from your training, whereas the first method can give a sketchy idea as to the fatigue you might incur. However saying that for different people something such as 85% of your 1RM may be extremely easy or extremely hard.



    #18
    ice_mach
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    RE: You dont use a split?!Good God! 2006/07/23 19:32:41 (permalink)
    thanks habibti.
    Entrophy the only other way i can explain it is that intensity can be described as something scientific or something you think you can measure by feel. Scientists say something is greater in intensity according to how much you are lifting for that lift as a percentage of your a rep max, whereas some people think intensity is how hard you have worked out
    #19
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